Matthew R. Perry

Archive for January, 2007|Monthly archive page

More Pictures from Trinidad 2007

In Uncategorized on January 31, 2007 at 4:57 pm

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Here I am preaching at the marriage conference I conducted called “Keeping Your Marriage in Tune: Singing the Song of Solomon.” Roddie Taylor, the pastor of the church we worked on, said, “Talk straight to our people.” And I did. But it resulted in some very intimate and personal questions asked back dealing with marriage and all its aspects. mapcamera-001.jpg

As we waited and waited and waited in Lexington for our flight to leave. Scheduled to leave at 11:00 a.m., it left and 12:50 p.m. and almost made us miss our flight to Port of Spain. Wow! Sometimes, the Great Commission isn’t always a smooth road.

More tomorrow.

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A Life-Changing Series of Sermons for Me

In Uncategorized on January 30, 2007 at 11:14 pm

Last month, after ordering Arturo Azurdia’s book on Spirit-Empowered Preaching, I went to his website (http://www.spiritempoweredpreaching.com) and downloaded his four-part series from the IFCA Pacific Northwest Regional Conference in Port Angeles, Washington — and listened to them while in Trinidad.  While the book was quite good, the sermons changed me.

Azurdia is Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology/Director of Pastoral Mentoring at Western Seminary, Portland, Oregon. He was minister of a church for more than 10 years. He is married to Lori and they have 2 children

Trinidad 2007 Update (1.28.07)

In Uncategorized on January 28, 2007 at 1:46 pm

We had a successful marriage conference at First Baptist San Fernando this past Friday and Saturday.  Forty-three were in attendance and we had some good feedback and questions during the conference. 

But we praise God that this Sunday morning during a three-hour service where I preached on Mark 14:1-11 at Mt. Beulah Evangelical Baptist Church in Point Fortin, one man named Theophilus gave his life to Jesus Christ.  Glory to God and God alone!

We are going to the southwest portion of Trinidad this afternoon and various places tomorrow, so keep us in prayer.  We plan to be back in Lexington at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday.  Pray all the flights go smoothly. 

We made it to Trinidad safely

In Uncategorized on January 24, 2007 at 10:14 am

After almost missing our connection due to the late flights out of Lexington, KY, we made the connection with seconds to spare and made it to Port of Spain, Trinidad, smoothly. The flight was just over four hours from Atlanta. Customs and immigration were no problem. We made it to Point Fortin around 11:45 p.m. and got to work right away the next day. Some of the tile at the church was already laid. Here are some pictures to give you an idea.

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Here is the title on the platform of the sanctuary at the church in Point Fortin.

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Here is am cleaning away the”mud” overflow which seals the tile to the floor so the other men could begin laying the next row of tile.

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This is Aaron and Panther. Aaron has no legs and he and Panther laid down the tile quickly and expertly. We hope to send you some more pictures so you can really see the difference. It’s an Extreme Church Makeover.

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This is Kasia, Roddie’s granddaughter. She has grown up so much. When we first went in ’04, she was only eight months old and barely walking. Now, she is growing up, running, talking, and being queen of the castle like always. What a sweet child.

I have an interview today at the Christian radio station in Port of Spain at 4:00 p.m. today (3:00 p.m. EST) concerning the marriage conference I’m conducting this weekend, so please pray. Roddie Taylor, the pastor here, was to be in on the interview, but he is ill so I have to do the fifteen minutes solo. Please pray for me.

God is high above all the nations and is not tied to any culture. We praise God that even those we Americans are in Trinidad, God is with us as well.

We’ll keep you posted.

Invisible Bed Fence (Rhett and Link)

In Uncategorized on January 19, 2007 at 8:58 pm

I Need One of These for our Missions Trip

Blogging from Trinidad Next Week

In Uncategorized on January 17, 2007 at 3:33 pm

I and four other men from our church will be in Trinidad & Tobago this coming week, so I will be postponing the Expository Preaching series and will blog daily from the field.  Keep these matters in prayer:

  • Traveling mercy as we travel from Lexington to Atlanta to Port of Spain;
  • Construction work we shall do at the Mt. Beulah Evangelical Baptist Church in Point Fortin;
  • The Marriage Conference I will conduct on January 26-27 at the First Baptist Church of San Fernando;
  • That we would be a faithful witness on the airplanes, in the airports, at in Trinidad.

You’re an Expository Preacher? Ohh! — Addendum to Part II

In Preaching on January 15, 2007 at 4:26 pm

An old friend e-mailed me about the current series on expository preaching and he made a good point about dealing with the text that reinforced this particular part:  deal with the “problem texts” directly — don’t hover over them.  He’s right.

You see, “problem texts” are so because the problem lies within us, not the text.  Calvinists will breeze over 2 Peter 3:9 and maybe even John 3:16 because these texts do not on the surface conform to their theology (although, I believe, a case could be made — but I digress).  Arminians have a problem with Romans 9:14-18, so they breeze over this text by applying it only to Israel and not as part of God’s covenant plan throughout history.

Our Bible should affect our theology, not vice versa.  Our theology must arise out of the principles and doctrines outlined in Scripture.  Otherwise, why not just preach from Grudem’s Systematic Theology?  Only the Scriptures are inspired (breathed out) by God.

Just some thoughts.

You’re an Expository Preacher? Ohh! — Addendum to Part II

In Preaching on January 15, 2007 at 4:26 pm

An old friend e-mailed me about the current series on expository preaching and he made a good point about dealing with the text that reinforced this particular part:  deal with the “problem texts” directly — don’t hover over them.  He’s right.

You see, “problem texts” are so because the problem lies within us, not the text.  Calvinists will breeze over 2 Peter 3:9 and maybe even John 3:16 because these texts do not on the surface conform to their theology (although, I believe, a case could be made — but I digress).  Arminians have a problem with Romans 9:14-18, so they breeze over this text by applying it only to Israel and not as part of God’s covenant plan throughout history.

Our Bible should affect our theology, not vice versa.  Our theology must arise out of the principles and doctrines outlined in Scripture.  Otherwise, why not just preach from Grudem’s Systematic Theology?  Only the Scriptures are inspired (breathed out) by God.

Just some thoughts.

“Come Over to Trinidad and Help Us” (Acts 16:6-10)

In Missions, Sermons on January 15, 2007 at 2:32 pm

It’s called the Greatest Show on Earth — and, no, I am not talking about Barnum & Bailey’s circus. Some have said it is much like Mardi Gras on caffeine. The week before the season of Lent, which is a season of fasting until Resurrection Sunday (Easter), the country of Trinidad and Tobago engages in a celebration known as Carnival.

Look at what the Trinidad and Tobago tourism website says about Carnival:

With its massive masquerade bands, astounding costumes, pulsating music and unparalleled stamina for partying, Trinidad & Tobago’s Carnival is often described as the world’s greatest street festival. In 2007, the annual Carnival season climaxes on Monday, February 19th and Tuesday, February 20th, when thousands of costumed revellers take to the streets to “play mas”. For the fun loving people who live in these sun kissed isles, Carnival begins in earnest on Boxing Day when the fetes (parties) go non-stop until Carnival Sunday. It is during this period that calypso tents open their doors to the public and cultural shows, from limbo competitions to massive soca concerts, begin.
An explosion of colour, music, revelry, and creativity, Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival has spawned similar celebrations around the world; but nothing on earth can rival the abandon, euphoria and stunning spectacle of our festival. Carnival in these islands has evolved over 200 years from a celebration enjoyed exclusively by French plantation owners, to an enormous event that equally embraces people of every colour, creed, class and background. Larger than life, the festival defies simple explanations.

One word that many in Trinidad use to describe this festival is the word ‘bacchanalian.’ Much lewdness and debauchery accompany this festival. It is for that reason that many churches do not participate because the activities there indulge the flesh so badly that their message would be lost. Some try — but are overrun by the party.

It is no coincidence that we are traveling to Trinidad in January. When I went to Trinidad last year to conduct a leadership conference, one of the sessions dealt with the leader’s family. I opened it up for questions, and we spent more time talking about marriage and family issues than we did with the actual lecture portion. Why? Because people want to know what God says about these issues. They are begging for someone to come over to Trinidad and help them.

We have a tradition at our church (and someone defined a tradition as anything in a church that is done more than once). That tradition is this: if we have a team going on mission — whether to Trinidad or New Orleans or WorldChangers or any other team that God sends from our church — we as a church will commission then with our prayers and our support to advance the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus. We must not misunderstand the purpose of these services. We are not here to simply exalt the five who are going. We are following a biblical pattern where churches under the guidance of the Holy Spirit send with God’s blessing. Why do they go? Because the Holy Spirit reveals to men and women of God the need to help that land know the Good News of Jesus Christ.

1. We cannot initiate a spiritual work — only God can (Acts 16:6-7).

Paul had plans. Yet Paul’s plans never overrode the plan of the Holy Spirit of God. During Paul’s first missionary journey with Barnabus. They traveled various places in Asia Minor. Yet, Paul’s plans were firmly grounded in God’s plans. Paul’s conversion and calling to the Gentiles came from the Holy Spirit revealed from heaven. And we see that when this calling came about that on his first missionary journey during a church service. In Acts 13:2, “While they were worshiping and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabus and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” The Holy Spirit of God is the one who commissions. So they went to Cyprus, Antioch Pisidia, Iconium, Lystra, Antioch in Syria, then back to Jerusalem.

Prior to the second missionary journey, something which seemed rather unspiritual happened.

And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit the brothers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.” [37] Now Barnabas wanted to take with them John called Mark. [38] But Paul thought best not to take with them one who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. [39] And there arose a sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, [40] but Paul chose Silas and departed, having been commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. [41] And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches (Acts 15:36-41, ESV).

This disagreement over the value (or lack) of Mark caused Paul and Barnabus to split. While on the surface, this is tragic, but God actually used this to multiply his ministry but sending two teams in two directions.

Yet, just as the Spirit opens doors (to God be the glory), so too does the Spirit close those doors (to God be the glory). We cannot manipulate the work of God. It’s just as much of a sin to try to go where God has said no than to not go when God says go. Paul understood this principle. He knew from his studies in the Old Testament that when Israel went into battle without the presence of the Lord, defeat occurred because his favor did not go before them.

(More tomorrow.)

“Come Over to Trinidad and Help Us” (Acts 16:6-10)

In Missions, Sermons on January 15, 2007 at 2:32 pm

It’s called the Greatest Show on Earth — and, no, I am not talking about Barnum & Bailey’s circus. Some have said it is much like Mardi Gras on caffeine. The week before the season of Lent, which is a season of fasting until Resurrection Sunday (Easter), the country of Trinidad and Tobago engages in a celebration known as Carnival.

Look at what the Trinidad and Tobago tourism website says about Carnival:

With its massive masquerade bands, astounding costumes, pulsating music and unparalleled stamina for partying, Trinidad & Tobago’s Carnival is often described as the world’s greatest street festival. In 2007, the annual Carnival season climaxes on Monday, February 19th and Tuesday, February 20th, when thousands of costumed revellers take to the streets to “play mas”. For the fun loving people who live in these sun kissed isles, Carnival begins in earnest on Boxing Day when the fetes (parties) go non-stop until Carnival Sunday. It is during this period that calypso tents open their doors to the public and cultural shows, from limbo competitions to massive soca concerts, begin.
An explosion of colour, music, revelry, and creativity, Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival has spawned similar celebrations around the world; but nothing on earth can rival the abandon, euphoria and stunning spectacle of our festival. Carnival in these islands has evolved over 200 years from a celebration enjoyed exclusively by French plantation owners, to an enormous event that equally embraces people of every colour, creed, class and background. Larger than life, the festival defies simple explanations.

One word that many in Trinidad use to describe this festival is the word ‘bacchanalian.’ Much lewdness and debauchery accompany this festival. It is for that reason that many churches do not participate because the activities there indulge the flesh so badly that their message would be lost. Some try — but are overrun by the party.

It is no coincidence that we are traveling to Trinidad in January. When I went to Trinidad last year to conduct a leadership conference, one of the sessions dealt with the leader’s family. I opened it up for questions, and we spent more time talking about marriage and family issues than we did with the actual lecture portion. Why? Because people want to know what God says about these issues. They are begging for someone to come over to Trinidad and help them.

We have a tradition at our church (and someone defined a tradition as anything in a church that is done more than once). That tradition is this: if we have a team going on mission — whether to Trinidad or New Orleans or WorldChangers or any other team that God sends from our church — we as a church will commission then with our prayers and our support to advance the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus. We must not misunderstand the purpose of these services. We are not here to simply exalt the five who are going. We are following a biblical pattern where churches under the guidance of the Holy Spirit send with God’s blessing. Why do they go? Because the Holy Spirit reveals to men and women of God the need to help that land know the Good News of Jesus Christ.

1. We cannot initiate a spiritual work — only God can (Acts 16:6-7).

Paul had plans. Yet Paul’s plans never overrode the plan of the Holy Spirit of God. During Paul’s first missionary journey with Barnabus. They traveled various places in Asia Minor. Yet, Paul’s plans were firmly grounded in God’s plans. Paul’s conversion and calling to the Gentiles came from the Holy Spirit revealed from heaven. And we see that when this calling came about that on his first missionary journey during a church service. In Acts 13:2, “While they were worshiping and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabus and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” The Holy Spirit of God is the one who commissions. So they went to Cyprus, Antioch Pisidia, Iconium, Lystra, Antioch in Syria, then back to Jerusalem.

Prior to the second missionary journey, something which seemed rather unspiritual happened.

And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit the brothers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.” [37] Now Barnabas wanted to take with them John called Mark. [38] But Paul thought best not to take with them one who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. [39] And there arose a sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, [40] but Paul chose Silas and departed, having been commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. [41] And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches (Acts 15:36-41, ESV).

This disagreement over the value (or lack) of Mark caused Paul and Barnabus to split. While on the surface, this is tragic, but God actually used this to multiply his ministry but sending two teams in two directions.

Yet, just as the Spirit opens doors (to God be the glory), so too does the Spirit close those doors (to God be the glory). We cannot manipulate the work of God. It’s just as much of a sin to try to go where God has said no than to not go when God says go. Paul understood this principle. He knew from his studies in the Old Testament that when Israel went into battle without the presence of the Lord, defeat occurred because his favor did not go before them.

(More tomorrow.)